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Dublin has been in the news this past week for all the best reasons - the legalisation of same sex marriage, overwhelmingly voted for by the people of Ireland in a historic referendum. So we've sent OutUK's Adrian Gillan to visit the queer quarter of Dublin where the boys are just so pretty.
Oh, enthral my ears! In fact, the only hope to stop the gab beguiling in a land that bore the likes of Joyce and Wilde is to get lost instead in a pair of glinting Irish eyes set fair in a fresh lad's face. The Dublin gay scene is as friendly, playful and eccentric as you could want, spread out just nicely each side of the Liffey, under an hour away by air from most UK cities. The age of consent in this nation of boy bands and Euros is 17 for all persuasions.
The house where Oscar Wilde was brought up is open for guided tours. It's now owned by an American College and they've restored ground and first floors to their former Victorian glory.
Starting south of the river, the Stonewall Café is a mixed but favoured homo haunt serving basic food at good prices, and retaining more than just a hint of the greasy spoon. This area is a particular boon for veggie queens, with bustling Cornucopia over the road offering cheap pulses and gruels - wind enough to hoist your sail - or try the pricier Juice around the corner for that authentic New Age Queer feast treat.

Due north in the revitalised riverside Temple Bar, the mixed Front Lounge style saloon gets almost completely overrun by gays on the upper level. Smooching your lover boy in a comfy sofa for all the straights below to view, it's a great daytime chill zone or the perfect spring board for the night ahead.

Just over the river and in stark contrast, Out on the Liffey is best described as 'unpolished' - pretensions barred. It gets particularly cruisy and men-only on a Saturday, with its infamous mirror urinals where all can see all and often do. Staying on the north bank and just round the corner, you're soon back in style again with recently opened GUBU setting the trend with crowds of bright young things propping up its long bar in between smiling and laughing and making trips to the cosy loos.

Back across the river and The George is the scene's oldest and biggest bar - a tried and tested trouper. Attracting all sorts with its timeless mix of karaoke and drag, it expands upstairs - most notably on a Saturday - from which gallery you can gaze down upon carefree gays shimmying away beneath. And though much of the Dublin scene is lads and lasses all mixed, girls can go off and get it together without distraction at Molloy's on the High Street all week round.

Legs still left on you? Well located on the corner of Kildare St, beneath The Earl of Kildare Hotel Peig's has a gay night on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. If it's Monday try SLAM for a darned good laugh - all ages but not least those naughty student stop-outs.

Boilerhouse is the largest, busiest sauna in town with all the booths and trappings imaginable, though some still stick to the smaller Dock attached to the Inn on the Liffey just back over the water. But if you like to work up a sweat outside, then cruise straight to the Papal Cross monument after dark in Phoenix Park north-west of centre - perhaps the Pope's most tangible legacy after his visit a few decades back.

Apart from all the shops and boutiques along Dublin's famous Grafton Street off College Green, you might find Basic Instinct of use for your mags, videos, leather and rubber requirements - something to suit all knobs and knockers. And for a spot of culture, you can pay homage at Oscar Wilde's House where the self-declared genius spent his formative years with his family until the age of twenty one.

We can recommend Frankie's Guesthouse, a delightful exclusively lesbian and gay affair in a pretty Georgian terrace mews offering hefty Irish breakfasts and overseen masterfully by the colourful character that is Frankie. You can also click the Bookings button below for great deals on a variety of Dublin hotels.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Stonewall Café (18 Exchequer Street; T: 00353 1 672 7323)
Cornucopia (19 Wicklow Street; T: 00353 1 677 7583)
Juice (73 South Great George Street; T: 00353 1 475 7856)
Front Lounge (33 Parliament Street, Temple Bar; T: 00353 1 670 4112)
GUBU (7-8 Capel Street; 00353 1 874 0483)
Out on the Liffey (27 Ormond Quay Upper; T: 00353 1 872 2480)
The George (89 South Great George's Street; T: 00353 1 478 2983)
Molloy's (13 High Street)
Peig's (Corner of Kildare St, beneath The Earl of Kildare Hotel)
SLAM (Switch, Eustace Street, Temple Bar; T: 00353 1 670 7655)
The Boilerhouse (12 Crane Lane, Temple Bar; T: 00353 1 677 3130)
The Dock (21 Ormond Quay Upper; T: 00353 1 872 4172)
Basic Instinct (60a South William Street; T: 00353 1 671 2223)
Oscar Wilde's House (1 Merrion Square; T: 00353 1 662 0281)
Frankie's Guesthouse (8 Camden Place; T: 00353 1 478 3087; Website.)

Revised February 2015.

 

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OutUK features the latest gay news, advice, entertainment and information together with gay guides to cities and holiday destinations around the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. There are hundreds of galleries of photos and videos of the sexiest gay guys plus intimate personal profiles of thousands of gay lads from all around the UK.